Job DescriptionRTI International is seeking applicants for the role of DRC Lead Advisor to serve as part of the Power Africa Off-Grid project (PAOP). PAOP is a four-year USAID-funded project to promote off-grid electrification in 18 countries in East, Central and West Africa. The project is headquartered in Pretoria, South Africa. PAOP provides technical assistance to key sector stakeholders, including private sector off-grid companies, investors and government agencies.
The Power Africa Off-Grid (PAOP) Advisor is responsible for increasing the number of off-grid electrification connections in DRC, by providing technical assistance to off-grid energy companies to accelerate transactions, as well as investors and Financial Institutions (FIs) to increase access to finance for off-grid companies and potential customers. The PAOP Advisor will also look for opportunities to help build the institutional capacity of off-grid Government Departments to improve the enabling environment for off-grid energy companies in DRC.
The PAOP Advisor will lead on the provision of business-focused technical assistance to off-grid companies to help develop and implement their business models to increase their numbers of new electrification connections and generation from off-grid energy systems, in particular solar home systems (SHS) and micro-grids. This will include supporting their financial planning, cost analysis, and developing long-term business strategies to ensure that they can convince financial institutions and investors of their bankability and low risk. The technical assistance will also help companies more effectively distribute and retail their products, including developing new partnerships with other distribution and retail companies, and further developing their distribution and marketing strategies.
This is a full-time role based in DRC.
• Lead all PAOP activities including conducting assessments, identification of highest impact opportunities, contributing to annual work plans, implementing approved activities, such as:
o Distribution, retail and marketing-focused technical assistance to solar home system (SHS) companies, including assessing potential demand and identifying potential partners for companies to reach these customers.
o Business-focused technical assistance to solar home system (SHS) and mini-grid off-grid energy companies to help them develop and implement their business models, financial planning, access to finance, and distribution and retail strategies, and link them with relevant investors with suitable terms, including loan periods, interest rates and required collateral levels, and, if required, the provision of Technical Assistance to FIs to reduce their risk and increase their willingness to lend with suitable terms.
o Support to off-grid energy companies to develop their mobile payment strategies.
• Maintain a robust and up-to-date understanding of the off-grid market dynamics in DRC.
• Provide other transaction advisory services as required, including the following:
o Identify new potential high-impact energy companies for support, determining financial viability of business plans and potential for USG assistance.
o Identify critical issues and problems for design and execution and assist in accelerating closure for off-grid energy companies, providing independent advice to government decision makers as needed to move closer to project milestones.
o Identify domestic and external financing sources and develop and maintain a database of available financing sources for off-grid energy companies, including investors, institutional investors, commercial banks and international finance institutions.
o Identify private sector stakeholders, including off-grid energy companies, distributors and others in the country and facilitate matchmaking between stakeholders.
o Maintain and update a database of off-grid energy company transactions and provides updates on transactions to Power Africa.
o Coordinate provision of technical assistance to off-grid energy companies with other donors to avoid duplication of efforts.
o Identify areas of support required by private sector that can be provided by Power Africa.
• Improved distribution and retail strategies of off-grid companies leading to increased sales.
• Improved business models of off-grid companies leading to new investments.
• New mobile payment strategies for off-grid companies.
• By-weekly and monthly reports per USAID and program requests.
• Other documents and resources, as jointly identified by the COP and Senior PAOP Technical Advisor.
• Master’s degree in a relevant technical field and 6 years’ relevant experience including substantive field experience in Africa or Bachelor’s degree and 10 years of experience.
• Experience in managing International Development programs, ideally energy programs in DRC.
• Experience working with energy companies, commercial investment banks, private equity and/or financial or legal services companies or firms in the international energy or finance sector.
• Significant management experience, with skills to analyze and resolve a wide range of problems arising in transaction structuring and project development.
• Relevant, ideally postgraduate, degree in economics, finance or business.
• Significant experience of Sub-Saharan Africa off-grid energy sector, and ideally project finance.
• Experience of analyzing and structuring financial transactions, ideally of energy companies, including financial models and investment deals, including the provision of targeted technical assistance.
• Proven written and oral communication skills, teamwork and interpersonal skills dealing with high-level donor, government agency and private sector company staff.
• Skills in monitoring and evaluation of energy programs, a plus
• Demonstrably nuanced understanding of the nexus between energy, poverty and gender, and a background in gender, energy and the environment, preferably with established social (gender) and economic analysis skills.
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